So here we are again, as the Skope site hit major technical difficulties yesterday and my post was lost in the black hole of the Internet. Well I was not going to allow that to stop me from posting one of my favorite bands of the year U.N.S.I.N. U.N.S.I.N is a band from Athens, Greece and they are a band that nomatter what is going on around them they continue to put out music. Their music and stort just made me have to have them here on Skoped Out. Join me today as I speak with U.N.S.I.N about living in Greece today, how they came to form the band, using music to help you deal with life, and much more!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and how is your summer going?
U.N.S.I.N: Hello! We are talking from hot and sunny Athens, Greece, and the summer is going just fine. It’s 34 degrees Celsius and the beaches are full!
Stoli: Being that you are from Greece, how tough has the Euro crisis been and any insight you can offer from the street that the media ignores?
U.N.S.I.N: Well, the euro crisis is as serious as any economic crisis around the world, the same as in Italy and Spain, the media tends to blow thing out of proportion. Of course business is highly affected and unemployment has increased and more and more homeless roam the streets. There are many wrong-doings of the media but we don’t wish to comment on how they should do their job.
Stoli: I feel that in times of crisis, music is a weapon. Do you write songs based on what you are seeing going on in Greece today?
U.N.S.I.N: We believe, in general, the arts are at a rise during times of crisis. Sadly, this is not like the 60’s anymore. By this, I mean that the power of words does not affect the system or alter the situation of a country as it did back then. People were more united: they were a front. Now it seems like individual voices yapping about and that makes it difficult to hear.
Yes, the situation here has affected our lives and hence our music. We should use music to motivate ourselves and the people around us to change for the better. For the better of their country, their neighbors and themselves…[youtube pWfr6CNapgk]
Stoli: How did you come together and what does U.N.S.I.N stand for?
U.N.S.I.N: U.N.S.I.N stands for United Nation Substance Identification Number and it’s four digit code system which identifies hazardous substances, flammable and toxic liquids in the framework of international transport. The band was formed by guitarist Spyro and former lead singer Christina in 2009. The first EP, “0154”, is interrelated with the bands’ name. Four songs, equivalent to that of the four digit code, and “Acid” being their first release and video clip of the EP, relating to the hazardous, toxic liquids.
Stoli: I really love Chrisanthi’s vocals. How did she come to be the lead singer and does she write the lyrics too for the songs?
U.N.S.I.N: A while after Christina left, we actually put out an ad in a Greek web-zine saying that we are searching for a new singer. The first person to send in her resume and a sample of her work was Chrisanthi. Funny, that for a nu metal band she sent us a pop-dance song, which through us off a bit but, at the same time it intrigued us. First person to audition for us was again, Chrisanthi. Having heard the dance song, we were kind of nervous to what we were expecting to hear. Now, we had never held auditions before so it was quite awkward for all of us. She walked in with a positive attitude, talented and willing to work and that broke the ice at the audition. Nevertheless, we continued the auditions and had the call backs, but we felt that click with Chrisanthi and we knew she was right for the band. She had the same views with which directions we want the band to go towards musically and we felt that we could communicate with her which is VERY important. And so here she is today!
Stoli: Have your friends & family been supportive of your musical ambitions and how much time per week do you play?
U.N.S.I.N: Yes, our families and friends have always been supportive. If you have support from the most important people in your life, you can go beyond any ambitions you had in the first place. We play as much as we can. One week, we might meet up 3-4 times and the next we might meet up once. Sometime it conflicts with our day jobs.
Stoli: I really like the song “Bleed.” What is that song about and when did you write that?
U.N.S.I.N: Thank you. Well, this song ain’t about the crisis, that’s for sure! The song is about the never ending tug o’ war of love. It’s the thin line between love and hate. When you want to be with someone but certain circumstances have led you apart and you start getting angry at the situation you are in. It’s when you “bleed” emotionally for each other and nothing can be done about it.
One of the requirements needed for the audition, when looking for a singer, was for her to write lyrics and a melody line for a song that she would hear on the spot in the studio. “Bleed” was that song that we played that but at that time it was called “Gone by Tomorrow”. Chrisanthi started humming a melody line with the first listening and even before the song was done she was saying, “Pen and paper quick.” So she started jabbing down some ideas and then we gave her a mic and she recorded the first idea. Two things remained the same in “Bleed” since that first audition; the chorus and the bridge. Apart from those two, details were being worked on all the time. Even last minute in the recording studio we were still saying “change this, try this. how about…” We were trying to establish the sound of U.N.S.I.N as we are now and not as we were then.
Stoli: How does being in a band & making music help you deal with life on a spiritual & emotional level?
U.N.S.I.N: For us, nothing is better than zoning out into music. Just like any art, it’s a form of expression. You can release anger, fear, love, hate, indifference… Any kind of emotional roller-coaster. We are lucky enough to have our own studio and so we can go their individually or all together and just be shut off from the world just for the sake of playing music. Some people do yoga to relax, we have music. It’s also kind of therapeutic, especially during these times.
Stoli: Being that you are based in Greece how do you reach new fans from the rest of the world?
U.N.S.I.N: Well, social media has been the number one factor for reaching people around the globe and it has been the most popular form of communication. By posting one clip, my friends and your friends see it, and then their friends, and their friends friends, and so on and so forth! In other words, we do it just like the rest of the world. We like to converse with people and hear what they have to say. Getting feedback and, of course, talking with other bands in the same situation and supporting each other.
Stoli: If I was to visit Greece where could we go to hear live & local music?
That all depends on what you want to see. There are venues for every kind of genre for every kind of preference. It’s really hard to narrow it down. We got cafes and bars that have acoustic sets and full band sets. We got venues known as “skiladika” where there is a live band that plays for a couple of famous singers each season. We personally don’t go there…we go to rock and metal bars!
Stoli: What would you like to see for Greece in 10 years and are you optimistic?
U.N.S.I.N: …Wish we knew! We like to see things on the optimistic side but sometimes it’s really hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. When new cut-backs beat us down almost on a daily basis it is definitely tough but we fight to survive every day and hope that our sweat will pay off at the end of the day.
Stoli: What is coming up for U.N.S.I.N and where you @ online?
U.N.S.I.N: First, we are putting out our second EP and following that our very first U.N.S.I.N album. It’s coming together real well and we will be coming in strong. We can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Unsin/137876756253485, http://www.myspace.com/unsin, http://www.youtube.com/unsinband. And coming soon our very own website www.unsin.gr.